Author Topic: Budget Pocket knives vs. Case Pocket knives  (Read 264 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Moe M.

  • Diamond Stone
  • ****
  • Posts: 8386
Budget Pocket knives vs. Case Pocket knives
« on: March 27, 2019, 12:19:30 PM »
 I think I mentioned in another thread quite a while back, but I going to relate my experience with some new Case pocket knives that I purchased in a bundle deal at my local Lowes hardware store, Lowe's and Walmart built new stores in a neighboring town and closed their old stores, both were about 10 minutes from my place just across the MA./RI. state line, the two new stores are now about 20 minutes away, still in RI.
 Just before making the move and closing the old store Lowe's started putting some items up on sale, they had a large selection of Case Pocket knives and at the end of the sale they marked what was left down by about 80%, the average knife was retailing at about $60.00 and were on sale for about $16.00 dollars, so I bought eight of them, I gave most away to friends as birthday and Christmas gifts, my wife kept a small blue bone toothpick to carry in her purse, I kept a medium sized Yellow bone sow belly stockman for myself as an every day pocket knife.
 I have had a few vintage Case pocket knives in the past and they gave me (still are) good service, and I assumed the new one would as well,  so I slipped the new case into my right front pants pocket where I've always carried my pocket knives over the years, well a couple of weeks went by before I had occasion to need my knife, when I took it out of my pocket and tried to open the blade I almost broke my thumb nail, the blades had rusted so badly that I had to use small pliers to pry them open, the knife was a mess of rust.
 I figured it was my fault for not cleaning off any preservative that Case may have applied to it for shipping and not oiling it before slipping it into my pocket, so I spent a few hours cleaning off most of the rust and getting it working again,  within a week or so it started to rust again, so I just put it away after cleaning and oiling it again and put it out of my mind and went back to carrying my old '70's era vintage Case Sodbuster Jr., it's been a great knife and rusted friend.
 About a year ago someone gifted me a Rough Rider three bladed Sow Belly stockman in brown smooth bone from their "Outdoorsman" series and I took to carrying that knife for a while and it's still in my pocket as I write this, it's been a great knife, being made of 440-A stainless with brass bolsters and liners it hasn't rusted, it takes a good edge and keeps it through a lot of work, and unlike my Buck knives it's easy sharpen, all I've had to do to it is hone it once in while and it stays working sharp.
 What's really surprising about this and the few other Rough Rider knives that I've picked up since is just how well built they are, the blades have not loosened over time, the springs haven't weakened from use, the blades still snap when opened or closing, and the bone scales are just like new, I've had a few high end bone scales crack where the pins are over time, these have not, and the fit and finish on the few Rough Riders that I have is equal to or better than the new Case knives that I bought.
 Those that know me know that I'm kind of a gear nut and usually I buy the best that I can afford,  I really don't know how Rough Rider can make such high quality pocket knives and sell them for under $20.00 retail, all I do know is that they do and I hope they continue to keep their quality up and their prices reasonable, from what I understand they've been doing it for about 20 years, so far so good.
 I called Case a while back to tell them of my dis pleasure with the Case knives I bought, the girl that I talked to knew right away what the trouble was, she said it's because of the CV steel that they use in most of their lower end (under $70.00) knives, it has a tendency to rust quickly when any level of humidity is present, she told me to send it back and they would replace it with a similar model in stainless free of charge, she also said that most people today that buy Case knives are collectors and not users, I can only assume that's why they use the cheaper steel in their lower end knives, to keep the price down, or the profits up.
 For what it would cost me in time and postage to wrap it up and mail it back I can buy a similar model Rough Rider that I can count on, so I'll keep the Case, clean it up and try to  force a patina on it to curb the rusting and maybe order me a new Rough Rider medium Trapper with real stag scales with the money I save.

 So, the moral of my story is, if you are the type who carries a working pocket knife and appreciates quality but can't afford to buy a High priced name brand pocket knife, take a look at the Rough Rider line, you won't be sorry.
 From what I understand the brand is owned by Smokey Mountain Knife Works, and Rough Rider is now making most of Marbles Pocket and fixed blade hunting knives for Marbles, so if you've heard bad things about Marbles quality in the past, that may be changing, I also hear that most of Marbles axes are being made by Condor Tool and Knife in El Salvador and are getting good reviews.
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline madmax

  • Diamond Stone
  • ****
  • Posts: 9580
  • The Phoenix
Re: Budget Pocket knives vs. Case Pocket knives
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2019, 12:38:21 PM »
Smoky Mountain Knife Works have just about any folder you would want.  If I remember correctly they have several loooong display counters of Rough Riders. The biggest challenge in that store is getting out of a 3 story knife store without blowing a huge amount of time and money.  Regardless of the price of a little folder,  temptation abounds.


My nephew loves "theme" knives.  It's an inexpensive gift.

I just thought of a niche knife companies could fill.  Seniors like their nails trimmed.  They have to get in and weed eat nose hair.  How about a two bladed folder for that?
« Last Edit: March 27, 2019, 12:43:29 PM by madmax »
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
Hunter S, Thompson

Offline wolfy

  • Supporting Member
  • Belt Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 18680
  • "You want a toe? I can get you a toe." -Sobchak
Re: Budget Pocket knives vs. Case Pocket knives
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2019, 01:33:16 PM »
That nail-trimming reference reminds me of how Heather always winces  :doh: when she sees me doing my weekly manicure with my SAK.  I try to remember to do it immediately upon emerging from the shower when my nails are nice & soft...which leads to a nicely carved arc with no 'tear-outs' or whiskering on the nails' edges.  The nose hair trimming (via SAK) I haven't quite mastered yet...... and PLEASE don't tell me that's what the tweezers & corkscrew are for! :rolleyes:
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
Augustus McCrae.....Texas Ranger      Lonesome Dove, TX

Offline madmax

  • Diamond Stone
  • ****
  • Posts: 9580
  • The Phoenix
Re: Budget Pocket knives vs. Case Pocket knives
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2019, 02:02:02 PM »
Corkscrew!  LMAO!
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
Hunter S, Thompson

Offline wsdstan

  • Supporting Member
  • Diamond Stone
  • ****
  • Posts: 9109
Re: Budget Pocket knives vs. Case Pocket knives
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2019, 04:17:46 PM »
I have a Case Trapper two blade, probably about five years old.  Yellow Delrin handles.  No rust and it is used once in awhile. 

Years ago I cut myself pretty badly when a slipjoint folded up on me.  Since then I am pretty careful but prefer to use locking blades of some kind.  Case knives at my local farm store start about $60 and are never on sale.  I have heard of Rough Riders and will look at them when my current Kershaw lockback needs a friend.  Thanks for mentioning them Moe.

A nail clipper knife would be great but probably won't happen.  I try cutting my nails with a knife blade but the results kind of look like I chew my nails.  Nose hair cutters are out of the question.  I bought this electric thing you stick up each nostril and spin around for awhile.  Clean as a newly laid piece of pipe.  (I was gonna say as a baby's butt but was reminded of some of them I have seen)    :P
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
(Mark Twain)

Offline wolfy

  • Supporting Member
  • Belt Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 18680
  • "You want a toe? I can get you a toe." -Sobchak
Re: Budget Pocket knives vs. Case Pocket knives
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2019, 04:48:38 PM »
Like you, Moe, I have long espoused the merits of the Rough Rider line of pocket knives. :cheers:    There's really nothing bad to say about them.   The blades 'walk & talk' really well on the majority of them, with the big Granddaddy Barlows & Trappers being the exceptions.....they require a thick thumbnail to overcome the unnecessarily heavy backsprings in those two models.  Their model #RR533 is what you would  think of when someone mentions "Boy Scout Knife".....SOLID nickel-silver bolsters, spear-point main blade, longer-than-normal screwdriver/cap lifter, longer-than-normal NEEDLE-like punch/awl, and a can opener that defies description.  The can opener is designed that way because it is made to mimic the very first patented can opener that was invented soon after food was being packaged in metal tins.  It works, but not as well as the more familiar designs that we see on SAKs today.  Like Moe said, as far as fit & finish goes, the RR Knives are hard to beat for the price-point! :thumbsup:

The scales are also very nicely finished....and they have a lot of styles & materials to choose from, too.  My favorite scale material is made from dyed cow bone in the 'Ram's Horn' pattern.....dyed and sculpted to closely resemble real ram's horn, it is eye-catching and provides a good grip when wet or greasy.

Don't be afraid of them, they're WOLFY APPROVED!  :thumbsup:
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
Augustus McCrae.....Texas Ranger      Lonesome Dove, TX

Offline Mannlicher

  • Water Stone
  • ***
  • Posts: 2424
  • A Florida Cracker, and an original Kracaneuner
Re: Budget Pocket knives vs. Case Pocket knives
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2019, 05:17:31 AM »
I thought a Case knife WAS a budget knife.